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Specific immunoneutralization of FSH leads to apoptotic cell death of the pachytene spermatocytes and spermatogonial cells in the rat

Endocrine Society
Publication Date
  • Molecular Reproduction
  • Development & Genetics (Formed By The Merger Of Dbgl And Crbme)
  • Communication


Although requirement for follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) in the initiation of spermatogenesis is well documented, its role in adult spermatogenesis is still debated. In the present communication, we have investigated the effect of specific immunoneutralization of FSH on apoptotic cell death in the testicular germ cells both in immature and adult rats. The germ cells of control animals showed predominantly high molecular weight DNA while the antiserum (a/s) treated group showed DNA fragmentation characteristic of apoptosis. The pattern could be detected within 24 hours of a/s treatment, and became more pronounced after 48 hours. The germ cells were purified from FSH a/s treated rats by centrifugal elutriation and vulnerability of each cell type to undergo apoptosis on FSH neutralization was investigated. The pachytene spermatocytes were found to be most sensitive to absence of FSH, even in the adult animals suggesting the involvement of FSH in spermatogenesis. The in situ analysis of DNA strand breakage following FSH a/s treatment showed fragmentation of the DNA of the pachytene spermatocytes confirming this observation. The in situ analysis also showed that the spermatogonia undergo apoptosis in addition to the pachytene spermatocytes. These data clearly demonstrate the role of FSH in the adult rat spermatogenesis.

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